With the first signs of spring emerging on the West Coast, another rare and beautiful natural phenomenon has graced the coastline: bioluminescence. In case you don’t remember much from biology class, that refers to the light emitted by organisms (think fireflies).
A thick, red tide has been looming offshore Southern California for the last few weeks, Orange County Register reports. And while not all red tides produce bioluminescence, they’re usually a good indication a light show could occur. In the daytime, bioluminescent plankton (called dinoflagellates) make their way to the surface of the water, attracted to the light, where they form a thin layer. The undulating tides trigger the plankton to glow a neon blue that’s visible at nighttime; the more sun they get, the stronger the light.